Teenage boy in a hoodie looking down“No one can make you break!”

Those are pretty truthful words. They were shared with me by one of B&GH’s transitional living residents. He offered them abruptly and with defiant spirit in the middle of a conversation about the pressures of life in light of all the difficulties that he’d been through. No one but that young man could ever possibly know the full meaning of “…all I’ve been through.” Yet, in spite of past traumas, setbacks, hardships, and hurtful influences, he can proudly pronounce himself as unbroken! …Resiliency in motion.

What have you been through? At B&GH we are caregivers to some of the most abused and neglected children of our state. None of us staff members, however, are exempt from hardships and traumas. I imagine our civic club partners, corporate sponsors, individual donors, and volunteers could express the same reality for their lives as well. Pretty much anyone reading this blog knows that life will try to beat you down, chew you up, and rob you of joy. Those are the moments in which we would all do well to heed the words of wisdom from our young friend, “No one [and NO-thing] can make you break!”

As my mama used to always say, “Boy, you can’t control anything in this life but yourself!” We cannot control the storms of life anymore than we can control the stormy people set in our path. We can, however, control our responses. We are the masters of our own attitudes and behaviors and can choose to break or double down, reach deep, and stand firm. Whatever is opposing our peace and well being, we can withstand and overcome it. For, as this young man reminded me, all of us are stronger than we know. We too can be unbroken. 

Dr. Mason Smith is the Director of Civic Club Relations for Boys and Girls Homes of NC.

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